CRAFTSBURY-ALBANY – After a good snowy March, the Mud-N-Ice Quadrathalon (ski-run-paddle-bike) was a sure thing this year compared to some recent years. This past Saturday the event was more ice than mud with overnight lows around 20 F and temperatures in the mid-30s for much of the race.
Thirty-three iron-people, nine two-person teams, and 19 three-five person teams took off on a blistering fast ski course. Craftsbury Ski Club ski coach, Audrey Magnan, noted that to ski four laps around Lemon’s Haunt in 18 minutes for the average good skier is nearly unheard of. No report of any major crashes so that’s a good thing.
Runners took to the roads on the second leg. Cormac Leahy (Greensboro) found his speed (five-minute first mile) leading the high school team of Greta Kilburn (Burlington) and Lenny Stelma-Leonard (Lowell). They were in second place in the three-to-five-person category after the paddle, but unfortunately Kilburn took a wrong turn on the bike leg.
The paddle caused many cold hands (if the paddlers could not keep them dry), but the high waters did not cause any major mishaps. Rick Constanza (Elmore) paddled his sleek craft to the lead after solid ski leg by Ollie Burress (Crafstbury) and run by Emma Podolin (Walden). He tagged off to Eloise Girard (Craftsbury), but solo racer Eli Enman (Huntington) was not far behind. Enman caught Girard about the six-mile point, and hung on for the victory.
The team of Jake Barton, Lucy Donaghy, Emily Driessigacker and Alex Howe (canoe), and Averill McDowell (all from Crafsbury-Greensboro) took second in the large team grouping followed in third by Eli Smith, Jasper Henderson, Nate Fogg, and John Lackey.
In the two-person teams, Marika Massey-Bierman and Gaelen Kilburn (Burlington) took the top spot followed by Hallie Grossman and Ethan Dreissigacker (Albany) and in third, Robert Watt and Nolan Rogers. The bike was the longest leg both in time and distance but bikers were treated to pretty fast and dry conditions compared to some muddier (and warmer) years.
People aged 14 to 80 were in the mix. A slew of teams and individuals from the UVM Outing Club made the trek up to have an adventure as they do every year. Most people entering the race are going hard but having a really fun time while doing it. The event is a chance to do something totally different at this time of year when most people are done skiing, and it’s really not great biking or paddling weather (all lakes are still frozen around here). Enman’s winning time was around two hours, but some teams and individuals enjoyed the scenery a little more taking well over four hours to complete the journey. The Mud-N-Ice has turned into an event that celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center sponsored the event with veteran staff member Keith Woodward doing much of the organizing.